So you’re ready to start doing yoga but you’re not completely sold AND you’re on a budget. You don’t want to spend a bunch of money on something that’s going to end up in a dark corner of your closet like that elastic band set you found on Amazon. Well you’re in luck my friend! We’ve compiled a review of the best cheap yoga mats that anyone can afford.
Before Buying an Inexpensive Yoga Mat
Before buying a yoga mat, and especially a lower cost one, there’s a few things to consider. Since price doesn’t always correlate with quality, you can find some really great mats for little money (and some bad one’s for a lot). That being said, there’s no one size fits all yoga mat. The one you love might not be the one your best friend likes and vice versa. So here’s a few things to consider when evaluating your options:
First and foremost, the overarching purpose of a yoga mat is to provide traction. This is especially important if you plan on doing hot yoga because you’ll be sweaty and slipping can happen. The traction of your mat will depend on the material, the thickness, the stickiness and the texture of the yoga mat (rough, raised bumps, etc.).
The other factor is how your mat sticks to the floor below. If you’re doing yoga on a hardwood floor, you’ll want a stickier mat whereas carpet won’t need as much. The last thing you want is to wind up flat on your face in the middle of a crowded class. With that said, we’ve chosen a number of affordable yoga mats with great traction for both hot and non-heated yoga.
Mats range from about 3mm up to a full 1 inch thick. The thicker mats provide more cushioning for your joints during floor poses which can be great if you have knee, back or hip issues. Be careful though because if you haven’t mastered your balance, the thick mats can throw you off. Thicker mats are also made from more pliable material which can lead to the mat stretching while you’re in downward dog or other poses with opposing pressure.
A thinner mat is usually made from a dense material that still provides great cushioning, doesn’t affect your balance as much, and doesn’t stretch or tear when opposing pressure is applied.
One more thing to consider about thickness is that the dense mats can weigh more. Keep that in mind because you may not feel like heaving it over your shoulder and walking to class.
The material of your mat has a big impact on softness vs. density, texture, grip and how you feel when you’re on it. Yoga mats come in several different materials these days, natural rubber, PVC, cotton, jute, hemp, bamboo and a few other synthetic blends.
Natural rubber is a personal favorite because it’s natural and extremely durable. But they are heavier and can take a little longer to dry out because you can’t throw it in the dryer like a cotton mat. And if you have a latex allergy you’ll want to keep away from rubber mats since they’ll cause irritation.
PVC is the most common material for inexpensive yoga mats because it’s the cheapest to produce. If you’re an eco-friendly person then you may want to consider going for a natural option like rubber, jute or hemp since PVC is not recyclable. There’s also a never ending debate about the chemicals used in PVC. They do contain known carcinogens so you’ll have to decide whether or not you’re okay with using one.
Cotton, jute and hemp are the more natural mats that can have either a soft resin undercoating or be sans coating on the bottom. The one’s without the resin undercoat are convenient to pop in the washer after class but don’t offer the same level of cushioning. These are sometimes referred to as “yoga rugs”. Only hardcore yogis who don’t have sensitive joints can tolerate using the yoga rugs.
What Type of Yoga Will You be Doing?
Will you be doing hot or non-heated yoga? If you’re doing hot yoga, you’ll want a mat that’s sweat absorbent. Even if you’re not someone who sweats very much, many of the positions cause sweat to pool on the mat and run down your hands. This can, and often does cause slipping that makes it very hard to focus in class.
Alternatively, you could get a yoga towel to go over your mat… but let’s stick to the mat for right now. If you’re doing basic yoga then a sweat absorbent mat probably isn’t necessary. Now lets get down to business…
Best Cheap Yoga Mats Reviewed
1. TOPLUS Body Alignment Yoga Mat
The TOPLUS mat is an extra grippy mat that’s double sided to prevent slipping of your hands and slipping on the ground below. It’s made from a 6 mm non-toxic TPE foam material and guaranteed not to tear or rip even after many thorough hot yoga sessions.
The foam uses a closed cell structure which prevents things like dirt and grime from getting in so its easy to clean and won’t ever smell. Another great feature of the TOPLUS mat are the alignment lines. These are actually quite handy as you can get turned around when you’re doing yoga. The lines help you re-center and strike your asanas with ideal form.
Weight is always a concern if you’re traveling so you’ll be happy to know it’s lightweight at just over 2 lbs and measures 72 x 24 inches. Overall this is a high quality bargain yoga mat. It won’t break the bank for beginners and its built to last if you stick with yoga.
- Double sided; non-slip surface on both sides
- Lightweight – 2 lbs
- Non-toxic TPE material
- Closed cell surface keeps dirt / germs / smells out
- No-tear technology
- Currently offered in multiple colors
- 6 mm thick and dense
- 72″ x 24″
- May not work as well on high carpet
2. Sunny Health & Fitness Yoga Mat
The Sunny Health & Fitness yoga mat is 68 x 24 inches and comprised of a 6 mm (1/4 inch) thick PVC. This is probably the most basic and affordable yoga mat for anyone who is almost positive they won’t keep doing yoga. It’s good enough to get you through a month or two but not a good choice for a hot yoga class. It weighs about 2 lbs and it’s currently offered in two colors.
As far as the value, this is the definition of a cheap yoga mat and something you’d probably see a yoga studio ordering in bulk as back ups. For a few bucks more you can get something that’s much more durable and looks better, but hey, you Googled cheap yoga mats so here ya go!
- Inexpensive as compared to more durable mats
- 6 mm thick
- 68 x 24 inches
- Good for beginners
- Can be used for a backup mat and for Pilates / stretching
- Made from PVC
- Some people complain of a chemical smell
- Not suitable for hot yoga
- Not ve